NEWBERRY, SC Crews in Newberry County spent more than 5 hours overnight Monday diffusing a potential explosive situation after a tanker truck full of ammonium nitrate caught fire on a rural road near Chappells.
After a mechanical failure about 10:30 p.m. Monday, the truck’s axles and tires caught on fire at SC 39 and Rose Bud Lane, according to Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster. Firefighters spent an hour dousing the truck with water and foam before the last flame was licked. Then, Foster said, crews were on scene until 4 a.m. Tuesday cleaning up spilled ammonium nitrate and clearing the road.
Crews from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Newberry County Haz-mat team, South Carolina Highway Patrol, Department of Health and Environmental Control and Chappells Fire and Rescue have all responded to the scene.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical commonly used in fertilizer, but has also been used to construct makeshift bombs. Explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995 contained ammonium nitrate.